The UFC has signed Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem to meet former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar at UFC 141 on December 30 from Las Vegas, Nevada, live on pay-per-view.
UFC President Dana White confirmed the bout to The Los Angeles Times, saying it will be a No. 1 contender match and be set for five rounds.
“This is the fight the fans want,” White said. “Both of these guys are monsters. Can Lesnar take Overeem down?”
Overeem will relinquish his Strikeforce title to enter the UFC, much like Nick Diaz did in preparation for his upcoming welterweight championship bout with Georges St-Pierre.
“Our thinking when we bought Strikeforce was to give the fans the fights they want,” UFC chairman Lorenzo Fertitta said. “Obviously, Alistair’s one of the best heavyweights in the world, but he also has that ‘it’ factor – the tremendous look, he’s huge. It’s a star factor.”
Overeem sounded excited to be facing off with the former WWE superstar, who has been out of action since dropping the UFC heavyweight title to Cain Velasquez last October. He has also battled through another bout of diverticulitis.
“Brock is a big name, a dangerous guy, and this is a dream match up,” Overeem said. “Brock’s a big guy, an exciting wrestler with his takedowns.
“I want to see this fight myself. Overall, I’m a different fighter. A striker, athletic, big. These are going to be two big trucks going at it on a collision course.”
UFC 141 will be held on a rare Friday night, as UFC officials believe holding a card on the actual New Year’s Eve night would have posed several problems.